There are sales skills that can be taught and those that can’t. Among the skills that can be taught are closing deals and business acumen. Skills that can’t be taught are trickier.
Dan Ross, SR AVP at Salesforce published an article in Saleforce’s Quotable e-newsletter that outlines the seven sales skills that can’t be taught. He points out that some of their best software reps had never sold software before joining Salesforce and some of their best closers had never closed a deal before working there. Core qualities, he believes, are the difference.
Take and look at them and see if you possess these qualities. While none of these can be taught, I believe some of them can be fine-tuned! We might possess the quality but aren’t using it to its fullest. Check out Ross’ list:
A naturally curious salesperson can put themselves in the customer’s shoes, get to the bottom of their problem, and present a solution that meets their needs.
There’s a difference between getting it done and doing it right. The best sales people do both.
Challenge yourself to do more. It will make a difference.
Similar to the skill of curiosity, there are more potential obstacles in sales then there can ever build training for. In addition, it’s simply not possible for a salesperson to memorize every single thing they may need to do in their job. Problem-solvers can isolate each specific case and either find or create an answer for it. Problem-solvers find energy, not frustration, in this part of the job.
Stuff happens. There is a lot of rejection and ups and downs in sales. You can be 1,000% sure a customer is going to buy and then they don’t. You can offer a far better product than a competitor with double the ROI and still have a prospect go the other way. The salespeople who are the most resilient bounce back the fastest, learn from their mistakes, and grow from challenges.
Salespeople who are self-aware can quickly identify where they need to improve and go straight to the prescription. Those who aren’t self-aware may abandon their best habits the first time they have a bad month or quarter and not realize what they actually should be working on. The most self-aware sales professionals are more deliberate with success and know how to repeat it.
- Emotional Awareness
Salespeople who spend a lot of time on the phone need to be very good at reading a prospect’s emotions without the benefit of a facial expression. Similarly, those on the road need to be highly skilled at reading interactions in a room and knowing when to be more influential and when to back off.